- The Washington Times - Friday, October 11, 2019

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez on Thursday said it’s not the DNC’s job to provide air cover for former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, or any of the other 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, amid attacks from President Trump’s campaign.

“The DNC in 2020 is running a campaign process to make sure that every single person has an opportunity to demonstrate that they are most qualified to be president, and I don’t believe it would be our role to be airing ads every time there is misinformation,” Mr. Perez said in an interview for C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program.

“What we are doing forcefully, and [what we’ll] continue to do forcefully, is to call out misinformation [and] make sure that networks aren’t aiding and abetting in the dissemination of misinformation,” he said. “I think that’s a critically important role.”

He said Friday that they “immediately” went to former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s campaign when reports surfaced that the El Paso, Texas, shooter had an O’Rourke bumper sticker.

“We were off and running to make sure that that lie didn’t get out there,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “So we’re going to continue to be exceedingly aggressive for the vice president, who’s been the victim of a smear campaign here, and for any other candidate who is the victim of similar smear campaigns. We will be consistent, and we will be vigilant.”

Mr. Perez faces a tough balancing act in 2020, after a 2016 presidential campaign where leaked emails appeared to show the DNC putting its thumb on the scale for eventual nominee Hillary Clinton during the primary process.

“We’ve defended every candidate,” Mr. Perez said on Friday when asked about the notion of repeating something similar for Mr. Biden. “We will call out anything that is attacking any of our candidates based on lies.”

Mr. Biden’s campaign has complained about a 30-second ad from the Trump campaign that says the former vice president promised Ukraine $1 billion in aid if they fired a prosecutor who was reportedly looking into a company with ties to his son Hunter.

Facebook has rejected the Biden campaign’s request to stop running it, saying it doesn’t violate company policies, while the campaign says it’s “unacceptable” for a social media company to knowingly allow misleading material onto its platform.

Though he has denied wrongdoing, Mr. Biden’s ties to Ukraine have become an issue for him on the campaign trail in recent weeks.

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